As last Sunday’s Super Bowl approached an hour or so before kickoff, most seasoned sports bettors were preoccupied with the usual big game decisions.
Do I go with the Chiefs laying the small number? Or maybe buy up the Bucs with an extra half-point to avoid a potential push? Does playing the game total make more sense in avoiding the spread completely? And what about the many, many enticing proposition wagers offered that I usually ignore during a typical NFL Sunday.
Yes, there was a lot to decide for many until something quite unplanned and unpleasant happened that unfortunately left many with nothing to decide at all. But, if they followed a long-standing discipline and preparation rule, perhaps they would not have been left in frustrated misery.
Several of the most noted sportsbook operators including DraftKings Sportsbook, FanDuel, BetMGM, BetRivers and Barstool were affected by a sudden and surprising outage at approximately 5:05 PM ET last Sunday, lasting through the opening Super Bowl kickoff. The off and on outage shutdown many at the typical time they customarily enter their wagers for a football game.
All sportsbooks reacted in a frantic emergency, doing the best they could to alert their affected customers in several US states. Although working quickly with their technology partners, they located the cause and location of the problem, it still caused a social media firestorm.
Despite immediate emails and tweeting out messages to bettors affected, the hopeless feeling was documented all over the Internet by angry sports bettors anxious to vent their opinions.
One well-read comment echoed the momentary feeling of many:
How is it that I’m seeing FanDuel commercials on my television almost rubbing it in that I can’t even place a bet on your app that crashes any time there’s a reasonably large sporting event.
It was a panic city for both experienced and casual bettors as the outage took place at the worst possible time, an hour before the year’s biggest game and event. Think of it as synonymous to facing an unexpected car crash on the highway en route to a job interview.
Unfortunately, somebody was going to have to take the blame and, in this case, it was the software technology companies that run the back end for the sportsbook operators that deliver content to the customers.
Although the major sportsbook operators stopped short of initially publicly blaming their partnering source, DraftKings Sportsbook did make mention of targeting Kambi, who quickly located the specific reason for the temporary outage.
Kambi CEO Kristian Nylén issued this explanation of the cause:
The issue experienced prior to kickoff was related to one particular bet offer for which we increased the number of possible outcomes especially for the Super Bowl. This bet offer was the third-most popular offer on the day and, due to the extended number of outcomes, required extra technical capacities as part of our bet validation process. Unfortunately, this additional capacity caused a backlog and slowed, and eventually stopped, the bet validation process for all bets.
As a soothing gesture for their players, DraftKings Sportsbook sent $20 credits to players they had assumed were affected by the outages. Other sportsbooks affected took similar measures to help rectify any customer service problems.
No matter how far we might advance in technology, it is crucial to remember that “stuff happens”. Therefore, it a bettor’s responsibility to BE PREPARED. The best news is not only is there a good way to accomplish this but every sportsbook providing service in every US state will pay you to do it!!
There is no excuse to be a member of solely one sportsbook, period. Each company is providing generous introductory offers with sign-up bonuses. Those offers are usually especially lucrative in connection with major sporting events like a Super Bowl. The next opportunity will come for the NCAA College Basketball Tournament or “March Madness”.
Joining more than one sportsbook provides a player with several practical advantages.
Most importantly, what should be each bettor’s habitual option of checking for the best line available for each betting decision they make. Akin to shopping for hotels, car rentals, clothes, or any commodity, anyone should only accept the best price offered. Any bettor who has lost a game by a half-point might have themselves to blame for not taking the willful effort to “shop around”.
Unfortunately, a bettor truly had themselves to blame for relying on only one source for their Super Bowl LV wagers. Had they been a member and registered with several sportsbooks within their state they could have potentially tapped another source in that time of emergency.
No doubt an even worse fate than losing a bet is seeing a wager win because of being shutout for any reason. The potential for that happening can be severely lessened by having multiple sources to access at your fingertips.
Beyond the all-important new customer sign-up, priority for sportsbook operators is the next stage to retain customers. DraftKings Sportsbook, FanDuel, BetMGM, PointsBet, and all other major sportsbook operators have loyalty programs designed to keep their customers intact and wagering dollars going their way.
It would be wise to get on board to weigh the best offers and select where you feel the most comfortable and select where to target most of your betting action. Besides having nothing to lose, it updates a sports bettor of new opportunities and options.
Like corporations assign a yearly review, February is an excellent time for a sports bettor to complete a comprehensive review for 2020 to look upon what they did right, wrong and to learn from mistakes made to increase profits in 2021.
We all cannot change the best bet opportunities missed, the parlays we should not have played, the Monday Night Football games better forgotten, etc. What we can do is eliminate any potential opportunity to be shutout from them by joining other sources to play. By next year’s Super Bowl, we can simply concentrate on our bets and have one less worry.
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Larry Gibbs is both a seasoned journalist and a respected online gaming industry consultant. His wry commentary & sharp analysis have appeared in numerous top gaming and sports wagering publications. He has also served as Vice President of US Gaming Services, a marketing research organization with 15 years of experience in US online wagering. He has spoken at noted gaming industry conferences including G2E, GiGSE, and NCLGS.
Email: [email protected]
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